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Thursday, July 5, 2012





As noted in the previous post covering Calliope CAL 3017 we are presenting portions of an interview that Will Thornbury conducted with Ray Avery regarding Ray’s background in photography.


Ray Avery                                   Will Thornbury

WT:  Would you give me, at the risk of repeating, would you give advantages and disadvantages of each camera that you were using then?

RA:  Well, the 35mm camera had a lot of advantages in that you could go to a 50mm lens, there weren't zooms at that time but to a 200mm or even a 500mm so then you could shoot from quite a distance you didn't have to get in front of anybody you could shoot just a head shot from a distance because of that long lens.  So that was the big advantage and also another advantage they were very reasonable to work because you got 36 pictures off a roll and the roll of film didn't cost much more the Rollie films roll which would only get 12 pictures.  So processing, cost of the film, there were a lot of advantages to the 35mm.  And then the 120 film, advantages of course were the larger negative.  They were superior lenses also, the Zeiss lenses, the German camera.

WT: That was before the Japanese had really come through with the great

RA: Japanese were coming in likely they were having them at home but they didn't start coming here until later, and then they almost, I would think, they almost put the German camera people like some of the others out of business cause they came in at a price that was maybe $150 to $200 cheaper for the same quality camera,

WT: Those larger lensesit was really like putting a tube at the
end of the camera, those were really the long.,.

RA: Yes they were, they were at some times they must of been 6 or 7 inches long, maybe even longer, I know a 500mm could be almost a foot long.  They were difficult to use with available light, however, because the longer the lense the slower the aperture so with the little 50mm lense you could use an F2 or an F1 lense but with the 500mm lense you might only get a F56 or a F45, so you did lose speed with those long lenses.

WT: You've had a long association with lot of people, Jungheim, with Claxton, a lot of people who have taken a lot of photographs over the years, was there a kind of camaraderie, seem to me you guys were always showing up at the same place?

RA: Yes, in a way, in those days though there weren't the camera men that
there are today.  Now you go to a concert and there's 50 people with cameras but before there maybe be half dozen of us would show up, so consequently, the photos taken in my earlier period are the ones that are in demand now because not many people have them.

WT: Claxton had a philosophy of, make no noise and shoot on the beat.  Did you have one?

RA; Yes, that's very good, well, I always have to tell engineers that I'm very quiet out there and I tip toe around and try not to knock over any music stands, things of that sort.

WT: You were the most silent of all, I think, and most retiring photographer I've ever seen.

RA: Perhaps..

WT: When you started shooting, you started shooting you told me in New Orleans in '52, oh, let me ask one other question, about processing, you didn't do your own development and..

RA: I didn't do the film development but for quite a while in the early years I was doing my own enlarging.  I'd get so excited about it that I'd say, well, maybe the next one will be better and I found I was staying up all night and then having to have to work the next day, so I decided, well, I either got to work or shoot pictures and there wasn't any real money in shooting pictures at that time, so I found a good lab that I had most of my work done.

Calliope Records Production Credits:
Executive Producers: Heyward Collins, Rick Donovan, Lee D. Weisel
Production and Coordination: Jim Pewter
Technical Assistance: Mike Jordan for Krishane Enterprises
Mastering: Jack Skinner for Keyser-Century Corporation
Art Direction and Photography: Jeffrey Weisel

(Al Viola)

SHOW #114
The Paul Horn Quintet: Paul Horn, alto sax, clarinet, flute; Calvin Jackson, piano; Fred Katz, cello; Don Payne, acoustic double bass; Gene Estes, drums. Al Viola, guitar; Ronnie Deauville, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Executive Producer: Peter Robinson
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Bob Haley, Jack Denton, Clair Higgins
Technical Director: Irwin Stanton
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas

(Bill Trujillo, Paul Togawa, Jack Sheldon)

SHOW #79
JANUARY 6, 1958
The Paul Togawa Quartet: Jack Sheldon, trumpet; Bill Trujillo, tenor sax; Jerrold Mandel, piano; Ben Tucker, acoustic double bass; Paul Togawa, drums. Eddie Beal, piano; Georgia Carr, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Executive Producer: Peter Robinson
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Bob Buck
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Ernie Buttleman
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: Vince Mahoney


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